Global Tiger Day
Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.
Tiger Conservation organizations
The tiger is an iconic species. Tiger conservation attempts to prevent the animal from becoming extinct and preserving its natural habitat. This is one of the main objectives of the international animal conservation community. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has played a crucial role in improving international efforts for tiger conservation.
The tiger penis is valued in Chinese medicine, and demand has contributed to illegal hunting
CITES is an international governance network employing tools and measures which adapt and become more efficient with time. One measure specifically aimed at protecting the tiger is visible in the network’s efforts to ban the trade of tigers or tiger derivatives. CITES members have agreed to adhere to this international trade ban; once a member state ratifies and implements CITES it bans such trade within its national borders.
The CITES Secretariat is administrated by the UNEP which works closely with NGOs such as The Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) to assist member states with the implementation of the convention. States are provided with training and information about requirements (when necessary), and their progress and a compliance are monitored and evaluated.
In order for CITES to work effectively, it requires the involvement of institutions, NGOs, civil society and member states: especially Asian tiger range member countries. The Tiger Range Countries (TRC) – countries where tigers still roam free – are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, and North-Korea. Whilst there have been no recent tigers sightings in North-Korea, it is the only country listed which has not ratified CITES.
The 13 TRC who are CITES member states recently held a conference in Russia and jointly vowed to double the estimated number of tigers left in the wild (3200). Poaching, however, remains a very significant problem in all 13 TRC, despite the implementation of CITES regulations within their borders.
In the 15th CITES conference held in Doha, Qatar in March 2010 all party members agreed to stricter agreements between members states to protect the tiger. However, the United Nations warned that tigers are still at risk of becoming extinct as members states are currently failing to clamp down hard on the illegal trade of tigers and tiger derivatives within their borders.
Although CITES has been successful in curbing this illegal trade, CITES as an international institution relies on member states to effectively implement conventions within their national borders. The quality of such implementation varies significantly within member states. For example, Thailand implemented CITES policies to a very high standard but the illegal tiger trade is still rife within this country. A governance structure such as CITES is powerless to control issues such as poaching unless it has the full cooperation of all actors, including the state.
Another reason why CITES seems to be failing could be ascribed to the lucrative nature of the tiger trade. The World Bank estimates that the illegal international trade of wildlife on the black market is worth an estimated $10bn per year. By selling one tiger skeleton, a poacher could make an amount equal to what some laborer would earn in 10 years
Indian Actions in Saving Tigers’
Project Tiger, started in 1972, is a major effort to conserve the tiger and its habitats in India. At the turn of the 20th century, one estimate of the tiger population in India placed the figure at 40,000, yet an Indian tiger census conducted in 1972 revealed the existence of only 1827 tigers. Various pressures in the latter part of the 20th century led to the progressive decline of wilderness resulting in the disturbance of viable tiger habitats. At the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) General Assembly meeting in Delhi in 1969, serious concern was voiced about the threat to several species of wildlife, and the shrinkage of wilderness in India from poaching. In 1970, a national ban on tiger hunting was imposed, and in 1972 the Wildlife Protection Act came into force. The framework was then set to formulate a project for tiger conservation with an ecological approach.
Launched on 1 April, Project Tiger has become one of the most successful conservation ventures in modern history. The project aims at tiger conservation in specially-constituted ‘tiger reserves’, which are representative of various bio-geographical regions falling within India. It strives to maintain viable tiger populations in their natural environment. Today, there are 27 Project Tiger wildlife reserves in India, covering an area of 37,761 km².
At the Kalachakra Tibetan Buddhist festival in India in January 2006, the Dalai Lama preached a ruling against using, selling, or buying wild animals, their products, or derivatives. When Tibetan pilgrims returned to Tibet afterward, his words resulted in the widespread destruction by Tibetans of their wild animal skins, including tiger and leopard skins used as ornamental garments.
Tiger Reserves in India:
The 43 tiger reserves in 17 States were grouped into the same Landscape Clusters as the tiger estimation exercise. The five clusters had an overall MEE of 69.63 percent.
Arranged in descending percentages, the Landscape Cluster MEE scores were:
|Cluster States No||States||No. of Tiger Reserves||Mean MEE Score %||
Mean Score Range %
|Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu||11||76.69||
|Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra||9||71.5||
|Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram and West Bengal||8||62.9||
|Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand||9||57.62||